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Lisa D., NV

I am a 47-year-old female living in Las Vegas. In Aug 2021, my primary doctor discovered a mass in my right lung via chest X-ray. I had gone in because I was feeling a subtle full ache in my chest. The mass was perfectly round looking. I went researching past medical imaging and can say that the mass began growing sometime between 2008 and 2020. The mass was nearly 4 cm in diameter. I had a biopsy in November and it could not be diagnosed. They thought it may be sarcodosis and so I took a round of prednisone which did nothing.

The mass continued to grow. It was suggested I get another biopsy so I opted to go to the experst at UCLA for further treatment. Those biopsy results were also not certain and were sent for further genetic testing. I was told it was a low grade cancer. Something obviously rare. At this point, the tumor was about 5 cm and talking to my surgeon, decided to have it removed.

Based on its size and location, there was a good possibility I would lose my whole right lung and maybe become oxygen dependent (my right lung was my dominant lung doing 60% of the work). 

My surgery was April 27, 2022. When I woke from anesthesia, I w as told that all went well and that they were able to save HALF my lung! I cried tears of joy. Surgeon said it looked non aggressive ad it had clean edges and some lymph nodes were taken out.

I spent a week in the hospital. My middle lobe collapsed but I was able to get it back with respiratory treatments. I am now at 7.5 weeks post surgery. I try to exercise 20 minutes three times a day which mostly includes walking on a treadmill. I try running but can only do a few minutes at a time. I still cough so I use cough drops. My back and neck  hurt after surgery. Back aches come and go but have gotten better.

I started physical therapy recently to work on my posture and always been active so it's important to continue. The tumor was sent off to get tested. Pathology report says I had an Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor. It's typically seen in children and young adults. It is caused by the ALK gene abnormality/mutation. My lymph nodes were reported to be negative of anything.

My oncologist says if for some reason, this tumor returns, it can be treated with oral medication. I don't anticipate it will return or has spread. No chemo or radiation is needed. I just have to get CT scans every four months. Doctors say that for me, the best case scenario that was possible occured. In my specific experience, I turned to God. I had to learn how to not worry and let him take over. I prayed a lot and had a lot of my love ones do the same. My life has always been blessed and this was the first time I felt like I truly soccurred. I am even closer to God now.

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